Tag Archives: Detroit Tigers

Twins 2, Tigers 0

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Twins 2, Tigers 0

Anand recently called me out for not blogging about the game we went to in New York a few weeks ago, and he’s right, and I’ll get to it, but as it’s not the only game I’ve missed out on writing about, I’ll start with the most recent and probably fudge the dates to get these things in chronological order so it doesn’t look like I’ve been the worst blogger in the world.

I spent most of this past weekend (where “weekend” starts on Wednesday) in Lansing, MI for the US Curling Arena Nationals, winning the consolation bracket (and thus a trophy).  However, due to some strangeness of the draw and the fact that we won both games on Thursday, we did not have to play a game on Friday… and the Twins were in Detroit, which was only two hours away.  I was on the fence about making the drive, especially considering that we had to get up early to play on Saturday and that my team insisted we go see Lake Michigan on the western edge of the state — i.e. the wrong direction from Detroit.  But then swalsh‘s team won Friday morning, giving them the evening off and Sarah was determined to join me at this game, as she had never been to Comerica.  And so, my mini-roadtrip across the entire state of Michigan to see the Twins was set.

It had been awhile since I’d been to Comerica and my ability to get there without consulting directions wasn’t quite what I thought it was — but we managed, and with a little detour to see what’s left of Tiger Stadium (a fence and a field).  Sarah commented that Detroit looks a lot like the rougher neighborhoods of Oakland… and then I pointed out that we were in the “good” neighborhood of Detroit.  Eventually, we found a scalper, paid too much money (have to help that Detroit economy?), and entered the stadium… for Polish night, apparently.

Mercifully for our curling schedules, the game itself went quick.  Kyle Gibson was on fire for the Twins, pitching 7 shutout innings on 110 pitches, including getting the always dangerous Miguel Cabrera to ground into an inning ending double play with the bases loaded in the fifth.  Drew Smyly also pitched well for Detroit, but not quite well enough, giving up a homerun early to Eduardo Escobar in the 3rd, which would prove to be all the offense needed to win the game.

It wasn’t the only run scored however.  Late in the game was Twilight Zone time for long time Twins fans.  First, Torii Hunter came in to pinch hit and it’s still bizarre to see him in a Tigers uniform — I had finally gotten used to him being an Angel and not a Twin.  He did no damage, grounding out to third.  Next, former lights out closer for the Twins, Joe Nathan, came in to pitch for the Tigers in the 9th.  I think Joe forgot which team he was supposed to be helping as he actually walked in a run to put the Twins up 2-0.  Glen Perkins, who now holds Joe’s old job as “All-Star Twins closer,” came in in the bottom of ninth and, in classic Glen style, gave up a double to make it interesting, but shut down the Tigers nonetheless to end the game.

And with that, we got back in the car and drove two hours to Lansing to finish off the curling tournament where my team won the aforementioned consolation bracket and Sarah’s won the bronze medal.  The key to taking home hardware from our club is apparently to send your skip to a baseball game.

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All the games I went to and didn’t blog

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I’ve been a terrible blogger.  There have been 9 games that I’ve been to since last September that I didn’t blog, not including the two in the last two days, which will get proper blog posts.  Luckily, they’re all in the score book, so I’ll just run them down here for my own record keeping, even though I’m sure you don’t care.  (“You” being… my dad?  People who haven’t migrated from Google Reader yet?)  But if you read all the way to the end, you can hear me play clarinet on KQED, in a bonus thing-I-should-have-blogged-but-didn’t.

  • September 2, 2012 – Kansas City Royals 5, Cleveland Indians 3 at Kauffman Stadium: I flew in for the weekend to visit Jenn and knock off a stadium before she tentatively left after med school.  (Now that it’s the future, it turns out she’s staying in KC for residency, but I didn’t know that then.  Regardless, visiting was good.)  Kansas City is a great baseball town — I highly recommend the Negro League Museum.  Within Kauffman Stadium, there was a nice Royals museum and video that covered the history of baseball in Kansas City from the Monarchs to the Athletics to the current team.  They didn’t mention this George Brett story, but that is what the Internet is for (NSFW).  It was free blanket night and the blanket is currently living in my closet.  Apparently Cord Phelps hit a two run homerun for Cleveland in the 5th to tie the game, but the Royals came back in the bottom of the inning to score three more runs.
  • September 18, 2012 – San Francisco Giants 5, Colorado Rockies 3 at AT&T Park: I honestly don’t remember being at this game, but it was a Tuesday night game and Michael Cuddyer was in town, so I probably popped over after work wearing my Cuddyer Twins jersey.  Except that Cuddy didn’t get any playing time, it seems.  I made a note that Angel Pagan hit his 14th triple of the season in the 8th inning, which set the SF Giants record.  George Davis had 27 in 1893 and Willie Mays has the modern day franchise record of 20, but that was all in New York
  • September 27, 2012 – San Francisco Giants 7, Arizona Diamondbacks 3 at AT&T Park: I don’t remember going to this game either.  The note says it was the last home game of the regular season.  It was an afternoon game, so I probably played hooky from work.  The Giants had their big inning in the 2nd, scoring 6 runs with homeruns from Hunter Pence and Marco Scutaro and an RBI double from Hector Sanchez.  Even Barry Zito got in on the act with a single (and pitched 6 innings, giving up 3 earned runs with 3 Ks and 3 walks.)  There’s also a note that this is the game where a guy was trying to show off his baseball knowledge to me and tell me what a shame it was that Kirby Puckett wasn’t in the Hall of Fame.  When I corrected him on that, he then tried to save face by telling me that it was a posthumous induction.  I had to correct him again, pointing out that I was actually at the induction ceremony and I was pretty sure it wasn’t a ghost talking.  Yeah, I remember being at this game now — these are not good ways to hit on a Twins fan, gentlemen.
  • September 30, 2012 – Oakland Athletics 5, Seattle Mariners 2 at O.co Coliseum: There’s a giant mustard stain on the page for this game.  I must have eaten a hot dog.  This was in the midst of Oakland’s incredible end of the season run that eventually won them the AL West.  The game was tied at two from the 3rd inning until the bottom of the 8th when both Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick went deep for A’s, sandwiched around a Brandon Moss single.
  • October 3, 2012 – Oakland Athletics 12, Texas Rangers 5 at O.co Coliseum: I blogged this game and it was awesome.
  • October 9, 2012 – Oakland Athletics 2, Detroit Tigers 0 at O.co Coliseum (ALDS Game 3): I blogged this one too.
  • October 10, 2012 – A’s 4, Tigers 3 (ALDS Game 4): I can’t believe I didn’t blog this game — it was amazing!  (I recall racing to the airport to get to Ben and Caroline’s wedding in Philadelphia after this game.)  The A’s went down early, helped by a Prince Fielder homerun.  I remember that the energy amongst A’s fans was incredible and we were all sort of resigned that the Tigers were going to win the game (and thus the series) going into the 9th when the A’s were down 3-1.  But Oakland 9th inning heroics were the story of last season and this game was no exception.  Valverde came in to get the save, but instead started with two consecutive singles to Reddick and Donaldson, followed by a two run Seth Smith double to tie it up.  The stadium was electric!  Kottaras popped up to third and Pennington struck out and suddenly there were two outs, but it was a tie game with Coco Crisp at the plate.  On the very first pitch, he lined a single to center, which scored Smith… and I marked with four exclamation marks in the scorebook!!!!  The A’s won!!!!  Game 5 (which they would lose to Justin Verlander)!!!!
  • October 24, 2012 – San Francisco Giants 8, Detroit Tigers 3  at AT&T Park (World Series Game 1): I blogged this game, which Justin Verlander lost.
  • January 18-21, 2013 – The MIT Mystery Hunt: [The complete text of Atlas Shrugged] 1 coin, Other teams 0: This is not a baseball game, but it’s something I usually blog.  We actually won the Mystery Hunt this year.  It was long, I didn’t get nearly enough sleep, the only baseball puzzle was about the president’s race at the Nationals games, and now I’m in charge of writing next year’s hunt.  (Which I’d like to use an excuse for not blogging, but this was obviously an issue well before my free time became nothing but writing and editing puzzles.)
  • March 18, 2013 – Dominican Rep. 4, Netherlands 1 at AT&T Park (WBC semi-final): San Francisco hosted the World Baseball Classic this year… and tickets were very easy to come by off of StubHub, so I took in a game with my friend Paul.  The stadium was nearly empty and everyone booed whenever Hanley Ramirez (the hated Dodger) came to bat for DR.  Paul, a Dodger fan, loved it.
  • March 19, 2013 – Dominican Rep. 3, Puerto Rico 0 at AT&T Park (WBC final): I said WBC tickets were cheap and easy to come by?  I got this one for free!  I volunteered to help with the pre-game ceremony in exchange for a ticket.  (I’m the dot on the lower left of the Canadian flag.)  I couldn’t actually stay for the whole game, because I had a rehearsal that night,* but the Dominicans and Puerto Ricans were really into the game.  “This is the Giants-Dodgers rivalry of the Caribbean,” one Puerto Rican fan told me.  Samuel Deduno pitched a stellar game — which seemed great, given that he’s a Twins player.  But then he injured himself, so that was less great for Twins fans.
  • March 28, 2013 – Oakland Athletics 7, San Francisco Giants 3 at AT&T Park (Exhibition): A pre-season exhibition Bay Bridge series game.  The Giants gave away random grab bags of leftover giveaways from last season.  (Remember how I stood in line last season to get the Brian Wilson gnome?  Now I have two.)  It was pre-season, so there were player substitutions left and right and the scorebook is a mess, but the A’s more or less owned the Giants in this game.
  • April 12, 2013 – Detroit Tigers 7, Oakland Athletics 3 at O.co Coliseum: It was Justin Verlander day and 2012 Western Division Champion blanket giveaway day.  So obviously I went.  JV wasn’t as dominant as I’ve come to expect, but 6 innings, 1 ER, 3 hits, 3 walks, and 6 Ks is nothing to sneeze at.  Also, Prince Fielder is a monster — he hit a bomb to deep center field in the 4th that must have been long because I drew it going outside the box for his at bat.   The other half of the Tigers offensive double threat, Miguel Cabrera, went hitless on the day.  Also, it’s incredibly weird to see Torii Hunter in a Tigers uniform, but I stood up and cheered for him when he hit a solo homerun to left in the 2nd inning.
  • May 21 and 22, 2013 – Minnesota at Atlanta: I’m not horribly delinquent on these.  They’re getting their own posts (with pictures!) shortly.  But I just want to emphasize that I really, truly despise the Tomahawk Chop.  There will be more on this.

* Other thing I didn’t blog: I was in a workshop band performing selections from Beck’s Song Reader.  We were featured on KQED.  That is my clarinet solo you hear.  I’ve been asked to make an official studio recording in July.  Baseball related thing: You can hear Amal yell “Kirby Puckett!” at the beginning of Old Shanghai, letting me know that he made it to the gig  just in time.

World Series Game 1: Giants 8, Tigers 3

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World Series Game 1: Giants 8, Tigers 3

The World Series started yesterday down the street from me and my favorite pitcher (Justin Verlander) was pitching.  I knew tickets were going for insane prices, but I also knew that there was a dip in prices shortly before the game started.  And so, I bought a ticket for a 5:07 pmstart at 4:35 pm, printed out the ticket and ran to the stadium — literally.  Actually, I didn’t run straight there.  I stopped off at home and grabbed my camera first… and then continued running, Forrest Gump style.  I made it into the stadium just as the Star Spangled Banner was being played and made it to my (upper upper deck) seat just in time for the first pitch.

Now, I primarily decided to go to this game to see Verlander.  I even had my Tigers shirt on.  Unfortunately, dominant JV did not show up.  He gave up a solo homerun to the third batter, Pablo Sandoval… which would be the first of three homeruns for the Kung Fu Panda, putting him in a class with Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and Albert Pujols.  Verlander settled down after that initial run and it looked like he might be his usual self, but then Angel Pagan’s double in the third with two outs happened and everything unraveled for the Tigers.

Now, to call Pagan’s hit a double was generous.  It looked initially like a routine grounder to third that might go foul.  But Miguel Cabrera was playing deep and just before it looked like he was going to field the ball, the ball bounced of the base, took a crazy hop, and wound up past Cabrera in left field.  By the time Delmon Young recovered it, Pagan was on second.  Marco Scutaro followed with a single that scored Angel and then the Tigers pitching coach went out for the most ineffective mound meeting ever.  The next batter? Pablo Sandoval, who hit his second homerun of the game.  It was really hard to keep rooting for the Tigers at this point, because the Giants fans were so excited.  (But I should note that at no point were the San Francisco fans even remotely as excited as the Oakland fans in the ALDS a few weeks ago.)

Once Verlander was pulled after the 4th, I zipped up my jacket and covered up my Detroit allegiances.  When the Panda hit his third homerun of the game, I was cheering right alongside the rest of the Giants fans.  After all, I was seeing history.

Game 2 is happening right now.  I thought briefly (not really) about going again, but StubHub tickets were more than double what they were yesterday, with no pre-game dip.  And so, I’m listening to Game 2 on the radio in the office instead of being at the stadium.  But I was there last night, so I can check “Attend World Series game” off the bucket list.

Pictures after the jump…

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ALDS Game 3: A’s 2, Tigers 0

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My first playoff game was last night… game 3 of the ALDS in Oakland, A’s vs Tigers.  Thanks to Bud Selig and his infinite “wisdom” (and by wisdom, I mean general idiocy), having the “home field” advantage meant that the A’s started the series with two games on the road, which they lost.  They came back to Oakland last night to take on Detroit on their terms.  Incidentally, this is the first time I’ve seen the Tigers in Oakland and actively rooted against them.  Sorry, Justin Verlander.  I still like you and all, but I want to be able to keep going to as many baseball games as possible.

The A’s came through for me and I’m going to another game tonight… which means I’ll wait to write about the series.  Just like I’ll wait to write about those four baseball games I went to and never blogged.  But in the meantime, here are pictures from last night.  I’m off to the Coliseum where baseball will be played at least one more day!

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Twins 1, Tigers 5

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Blah, blah, blah, went to a Twins game on my 22 hour stopover in Minnesota.  Blah, blah, blah Twins lost.  Blah, blah, blah Tigers won, but Verlander wasn’t pitching, so there’s no silver lining there.  Blah, blah, blah I won a free shirt at the game from the Twins twitter account.  Blah, blah, blah…

I’m in Switzerland!  I spent yesterday in Paris!  (I know at least one person reads my baseball posts and inserts the “blah, blah, blahs” in his head.  Figured I’d add them for everyone this time because I AM IN SWITZERLAND and I’m only blogging this game as a formality.)  I just woke up at 6 am and watched the end of the Twins loss to the Mariners in Seattle.  Timezones are weird.

 

Tigers 3, Athletics 1

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Tigers 3, Athletics 1

It’s Justin Verlander Day!

I don’t think I’ve hidden the fact that Justin Verlander is my favorite player outside of the Twins.  He’s just so consistently dominating — he’ll hit 100 MPH in the 8th or 9th inning like it’s no big deal.  So when I noted that he was going to be pitching against the A’s, I e-mailed my friend Suzanne and invited her to join me at the game.  (And even if she had said no, I’d have gone anyway.)

Verlander didn’t disappoint even my exceedingly high expectations.  The A’s didn’t get a hit until the 4th inning.  They got a second hit in the 5th, which happened to be a solo homerun by Seth Smith, but other than that, Verlander was lights out for 7 innings.  (And that homerun didn’t hurt as the Tigers had already scored 2 runs, but I didn’t go to watch the Tigers offense.  Especially since my former second favorite Tiger, Brandon Inge, is now an A.)

When he didn’t come out for the 8th, I was a little confused, because normally he doesn’t let things like pitch counts get in his way — it turns out he had a callous on his hand that had cracked open and started bleeding during the 7th and the trainer decided he should be done.  I will note that the 7th inning was the only inning he didn’t get a strikeout… probably the bleeding thumb.

This season I’ve been trying to pick 10 or so diverse pictures to illustrate whichever game I was at.  In honor of Justin Verlander, this time I picked 13 pictures of JV’s delivery, taken with burst mode, so you can watch him pitch in slow motion over and over again.

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Divisional Series Decompression

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As is probably unsurprising, what with my gushing over Justin Verlander, the Tigers are my team this post-season.  What is probably also not surprising, the New York Yankees are the one team of the eight postseason teams that I can’t stand and want to see lose and lose quickly.  Then there are the six other teams which I am mostly indifferent to.  If I had to rank them it would probably go Brewers, Diamondbacks, Rays (well, they’re already out), Rangers, Cardinals, Phillies.  But really, as long as there is good baseball played, I’m not invested in who advances out of those six teams.

And so that leaves me with one divisional series I watched every pitch of: The Evil Empire vs. the Guys From Near My Old Stomping Grounds Who Have The Best Pitcher In The Game In Their Pen And Delmon Young.  (Hmm… that is a long moniker for the Tigers.  I should shorten it to GFNMOSGWHTBPITGITPADY, although even that is longer than “The Evil Empire.”)

Game 1 got postponed after an inning and a half, ruining the Verlander vs. CC Sabathia start and turning it into an Ivan Nova vs. Doug Fister disaster on Saturday.  Game 2 featured some brilliant pitching by Max Scherzer.  Game 3 featured some not-always-brilliant-pitching-but-who-cares-because-he-won from Justin Verlander.  Game 4 was really ugly and I’ve wiped it from my memory.  Game 5 was a stressful game because even though the Tigers were never behind (and after the second batter of the game were always ahead), it was never a big lead and with the Yankees, I can really only relax when it’s a big lead.

After A-Rod struck out to end the game, I was finally able to exhale.  The combination of wanting the Tigers to win and wanting the Yankees to lose was enough to make me tense whenever I watched it — and exhilarated when the Tigers finally clinched it.  That exhilaration is why I watch baseball.  It’s certainly not for the anxiety that comes before it… but the anxiety is a necessary precursor to the joy.

For better or for worse, now that this ALDS is over, I don’t think I’ll be getting as emotionally invested in the ALCS or the World Series.  The Tigers aren’t really my team and they’ve already vanquished the team it’s fun to watch lose.  (Seriously… click the link to watch A-Rod strikeout.  It’s just so satisfying if you know anything about him — plus Avila’s glee is infectious.  If you’re unaware of why Rodriguez is a guy it’s fun to root against, let this Google image search be your primer.)  For the remainder of October, I’m going to be a lot more relaxed when I watch baseball.

But it also means I won’t be as elated when the Tigers take it all as I was tonight.